Opening Keynote - Tuesday 5th September

Elisabeth André

Elisabeth André is a full professor of Computer Science and Founding Chair of Human-Centered Multimedia at Augsburg University in Germany where she has been since 2001. She has multiple degrees in computer science from Saarland University, including a doctorate. Previously, she was a principal researcher at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI GmbH) in Saarbrücken.

Elisabeth André has a long track record in multimodal human-machine interaction, embodied conversational agents, social robotics, affective computing and social signal processing. She has served as a General and Program Co-Chair of major ACM SIGCHI conferences including ACM International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI) and ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces (ICMI). In 2010, Elisabeth André was elected a member of the prestigious Academy of Europe, the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and AcademiaNet. To honor her achievements in bringing Artificial Intelligence techniques to HCI, she was awarded a EurAI fellowship (European Coordinating Committee for Artificial Intelligence) in 2013. Most recently, she was elected to the CHI Academy, an honorary group of leaders in the field of human-computer interaction.

Exploring Social Augmentation Techniques for Mobile Training and Assistive Applications

Traditionally, Augmented Reality has focused on techniques that enhance the users’ perception of the physical environment. The aim of Social Augmentation is to increase the users’ awareness of their own social cues or the social cues elicited by others. In my talk, I will demonstrate how to combine ideas from Augmented Reality with recent advances in Social Signal Processing to explore the concept of Social Augmentation in mobile settings. Social Augmentation offers great promise for social skill training. It may be in particular beneficial to people experiencing social phobia or stage fright. By exposing people in-situ to selected stimuli, they may learn how to cope with negative emotions associated with socially-challenging situations, such as job interviews or group discussions. Social augmentation may also be of benefit to people being able to perceive their social context to a limited extent only due to physical handicaps. In my talk, I will show how blind and visually impaired users may profit from Social Augmentation by receiving information on their social context via sonification techniques.

Closing Keynote - Thursday 7th September

Indrani Medhi Thies

Indrani Medhi Thies is a Researcher in the Technology for Emerging Markets group at Microsoft Research in Bangalore, India. Her research interests are in the area of User Interfaces, User Experience Design, and ICTs for Global Development. Over the years Indrani’s primary work has been in user interfaces for low-literate and novice technology users. As a part of this research Indrani spent hundreds of hours in the field among low-income communities in rural and urban India, the Philippines and South Africa, conducting ethnographic design, iterative prototyping and user evaluations. Indrani is considered a world expert in interfaces for low-literate users. Her recent work is in user experience of conversational agents, mainly chatbots.

Indrani’s distinctions include the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Social Impact award, an MIT TR35 award, ACM SIGCHI and ACM CSCW best paper honourable mentions, a “Young Indian Leader” award from CNN IBN, and featuring in the list of Fortune magazine’s 2010 “50 Smartest People in Technology”. Indrani has published over 20 refereed research articles in leading conferences and journals. She has a Ph.D. from the Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay, India; a Masters’ degree in Design from the IIT Institute of Design, Chicago, USA; and a Bachelors’ degree in Architecture from VNIT, Nagpur, India.

Designing for Low-Literate Users

Mobile phones are finally becoming accessible to billions of people in the developing world. However, many barriers remain for low-income populations to benefit from this newfound technology. In this talk, I will focus on the 775 million people who are non-literate, and for whom traditional text-based interfaces are typically unusable. How do we create user interfaces such that any non-literate person can immediately realize useful interaction with minimal or no assistance? I will share experiences from over the past decade doing ethnographic design amongst communities in rural and urban India, the Philippines and South Africa. Many of our design principles are also applicable to novice and lesser-literate users from the developed world.